It takes a dedication like hers to be Beat’s First Selected Artist for 2015 and a talent like hers to sell 10 artworks in a week. Daniela Raytchev is a rising star whose name is drawing attention in the London art scene. With so many exciting events filling up her calendar, we get to know a little about this Slovakian-born artist in this interview.
You recently finished the first year with DEBUT Scheme, Year of Incubation, and entering the Year of Acceleration. How did your story with DEBUT come about?
I was going through some personal issues and 2011/2012 were big years for me in terms of changing the way I lived my life. I was getting to know myself better again and it brought me back to my passion for art. I always wanted to pursue it as a career thought I wasn’t really sure how/where to start and at the beginning of 2014 was invited to join Debut so I went for it. I was met with lots of understanding, support, great team of artists and mentoring from Samir that was at times challenging but always for the best. I still keep learning and sometimes have to laugh as at times it seems like every week there is a lesson to be learnt, be it creatively, or about myself, how to deal with other people, how to tackle challenging situations.
What’s your favorite art shop in London?
Atlantis in Hanbury street. It’s very affordable, staff is very friendly and patient if I have questions about materials I haven’t used before or any other and I can have a little walk through Brick Lane on the way for some inspiration.
Do we find inspiration or inspiration finds us?
Both. I am a strong believer we have to be in a place where we are able to see and recognize the inspiration which ever way it comes from. We make choices about where we go, what we want to see or what we surround ourselves with, many times according to our personal preference. However it can also come to us through people, situations, coincidences or what many call eye opening moments that are revealed to us when we are ready.. I think the energy comes from both equally, us as well as our surroundings..
Among your artworks, which one is a reflection of who you are?
I can’t pick one as as much there is always a story or a concept behind each piece of work I make, all of them are a reflection of that particular time and moment and the emotions that have been going through me.
My work has a large self reflective element regardless of the subject…Nothing is permanent and as I change and grow or experience various things my work moves/grows with me, or at least I hope to believe so!
Any plans you aim at achieving by the end of 2015?
I am working on a solo exhibition that will take place at the end of September/ beginning of October aiming to raise awareness about addictions, showing whole spectrum of them. Hopefully people will be able to relate emotionally as well as see that addiction is just an illness and it can be dealt with. There is a lot of stigma surrounding those matters and I would love to encourage more talk about it. I won’t go into more details just yet but I am very excited, I had pleasure of hearing many wonderful people’ stories which I found very inspiring and which will hopefully inspire others too.
I will also be Selected Artist for Beat Eating Disorders Charity for 2015. We are just putting the website and all the materials together. We will be organizing few events and an exhibition together, first one being their Beat the Bank fundraising gala which is happening at the beginning of March, I am donating a painting for an auction and selling some prints where percentage of sales with go to Beat.
I am always thinking ahead and keen to explore new avenues and collaborations, nevertheless these two are definitely the main projects that I would like to focus on for 2015. All in all it will be a very busy and exciting year for me.
How far have you travelled? Have you found the hidden paradise yet?
No not yet. I have been to some beautiful places in South Africa, that is probably the furthest I have been but I have yet too see all the other hidden treasures. South America and Asia would definitely be one of my next travelling stops when I get a chance.
Any hidden talents?
I used to do orientation running and I am very good with maps.
Is there a particular artwork by Debut Artists that you admire?
There are many talented artists there, difficult to choose!
I love the colour use of Michelle Hold, the preciseness of Hector Sandoval, emotionally charged work of Klara Cecmanova and Toby Brown, head statues of Aida Emelyanova…..many….
What do you remember about your childhood?
That I used to love drawing with a stick in a mud.
How did your story with DEBUT started?
I was going through some personal issues and 2011/2012 were big years for me in terms of changing the way I lived my life. I was getting to know myself better again and it brought me back to my passion for art. I always wanted to pursue it as a career thought I wasn’t really sure how/where to start and at the beginning of 2014 was invited to join Debut so I went for it. I was met with lots of understanding, support, great team of artists and mentoring from Samir that was at times challenging but always for the best. I still keep learning and sometimes have to laugh as at times it seems like every week there is a lesson to be learnt, be it creatively, or about myself, how to deal with other people, how to tackle challenging situations…
What do you tell emerging artists trying to break into the art business world?
Stay true to yourself and your values, be open minded, have a good network of people around who you trust 100% to bounce the ideas from and get feedback, ask lots of questions, look for the opportunities and solutions not for the things that you don’t have…but mainly stay positive and be ready to work very hard.
That’s why it’s very important to know why you do what you do and what it means to you…. That’s what will keep you going. Everyday I feel lucky and grateful that I have the opportunity to do what I love for the causes that fulfill me, its’ a privilege.